Set up a Civil Establishment in UAE


To set up a civil establishment company in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and the UAE, it is important to understand the legal form and its linked compliance. A Civil Company/Establishment is a business partnership for professionals in recognised fields such as doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants and consultants. The owner/owners of the company can be a professional partner of any nationality. If the owner is a National of a country other than the UAE or GCC, then a Local Service Agent (LSA) is needed. Corporate shareholders cannot hold shares in a Civil Company. Specific activities have additional requirement regulating the shareholding. As an example an engineering activity must have one partner who is a UAE National. This national will hold no less than 51% of the business. In addition, this partner should hold the relevant qualifications linked to this activity.

Rules & Regulations

  • Partners of any nationality can practice professional activities in accordance with DED business regulations.
  • There is a limitation to the number of managers that can be appointed on a civil legal form.
  • Detailed Civil Agreement is required between the expat partner of a civil license.
  • To appoint a Local Service Agent to the company, it requires a Service Agent agreement.
  • The trade name should be consistent and in proportion with the commercial activity of the firm.
  • A civil company can have more than one branch. Each may undertake one or all the activities included in the main business license.
  • It is possible to sell a civil company and branches to any party or company. The owner(s) can also change its legal form according to DED procedures.

To set up a civil establishment/company, you can contact our experts for a free consultation. We will help you in setting up a sole establishment company in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and the UAE with proper guidelines.